saturation bombing


“Looking for beasts in proper condition…” “posy: monkey is also an answer!”

The ad above was published in Budapest’s newspaper in autumn 1945, and was not a joke! The famous zoo of the capital suffered from huge losses after the long and cruel siege of Budapest. There were no answers for teh ad, and the cages remained empty for a long time…

Before the WWII Budapest Zoo - one of the most beautiful zoo of the world - boasted with more, then 4000 animals! In lack of forage and staff this number sintered almost to zero by spring of 1945.

As a wonder the hyppo family of five survived. True, the hyppos of Budapest Zoo enjoy the blessing of Széchenyi Bath’s thermal water (even today), but how this wonderworking spring defended them against saturation bombings is a real miracle.

Beside the hyppos still 10 animals survived - rest finished mostly in the kitchen of the starving citizen. The big cats were sadly shooted, as the remaining staff was afraid to live them out to the streets.

9 animals were found after the war: two monkeys moved to an elegant villa, two tats “went to work” to a transport company, a parrot was adopted by a fortune teller and Sidi and Sahib, the twosurviving camels were used as workhorses in a nearby village of Budapest.